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Facsimilic of^ Title Paoc or Iribh Alfhabct and Catcchism 

See Page 16, 


Earliest Dublin Printing. 




£• R. M^C, DIX. 


31 South Anne Street. 
1901 . 






Introdaction ... 


List of Books, etc. 


Humphrey Powell 


William Kearney 


John Franke ... 


Appendix I. ... 


•• J. 1.  •« • •«. 






To make more complete my still unfinished labours upon early 
Dublin printing, I have ventured to compile and publish this 
booklet, as the first separate and origfinal effort of the kind, I 
believe, in this form, in the hope of awakening greater interest in 
and drawing or directing more attention to the subject, and so 
in time eliciting more information, unhopeful though the prospect 
be. Every scrap of additional information will be heartily 
welcomed and fully acknowledged in a second edition (with 
additional facsimiles), should such ever appear. 

Special thanks are due to Mr. Moule, Fellow and Librarian 
of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, and the Librarians of 
Trinity College, Dublin, for special facilities afforded, for 
allowing access to, and to have partly photographed, the 
treasures in their custody mentioned in the following list ; and 
thanks are also due to Mr. Shuckburgh, the Librarian of Em- 
manuel College, Cambridge, for information afforded* 

I am also specially indebted to Professor Mahaffy 
S.F.T.C.D., for the two Appendices to this work. 



jHOUGH it is generally known and accepted 
that the first Book certainly printed in Dublin 
was the Book of Common Prayer, printed here 
by Humphrey Powell in 1551, I do not think that any 
formal list, very brief though it would necessarily be, of 
the books and broadsides printed here in the sixteenth 
century has ever been previously published. I have, 
therefore, ventured to compile such a list, in the form 
hereinafter presented, for even though it be an imperfect 
one, it will, at least, be a beginning or first step to an 
ultimately complete one, if such, indeed, be ever attain- 
able. It may also, while perhaos provoking adverse 
criticism, yet draw fresh attention to the subject of the 
earliest Dublin printing, and thus prove the cause of 
some further information being supplied by those having 
much more leisure and opportunity of research than I 
have. There are references to early Irish printing by 
several bibliographers, some of eminence, but they often 
merely repeat what is found in earlier publications, 
sometimes restating what is incorrect, though quite un- 
intentionally no doubt. None save Dr. Madden (in his 
Irish ' Periodical Literature), has written exclusively of 
Irish printing, but in the works of various Irish Authors 



and students and in several journals valuable references 
to the subject will be found. For example, in the works 
especially of the late Sir John T. Gilbert, as his History 
of Dublin, Corporation Records, etc. He was deeply 
interested and well versed in Irish Bibliography, and 
read two papers on the subject before the Royal Irish 
Academy, which, it is greatly to be regretted, have not 
yet been printed, or even appeared in the Academy's 
published transactions. 

Besides the few items of printing set out in the 
following list, there were probably other works which 
must have been lost. For example, the earliest Irish 
bibliographer (if I may call him so), Sir James Ware, 
tells us that Sir Henry Sidney, when Lord Deputy in 
Dublin, caused the Statutes of Ireland to be printed, 
though where is not stated. Now Sidney was six or 
seven times in office altogether, either as Lord Justice 
or Lord Deputy, namely, in 1556, 1557, 1558 (twice), 
1565-7, 1 568- 1 57 1, and lastly in 1575- 1578. He died in 
1586. Of course the printing of the Statutes procured 
by Sidney may have been done in London, but, as will 
be observed from the foregoing dates, Powell's press 
was at work here, and turning out excellent work in 
Black Letter during the earlier periods of Sidney's ad- 
ministration. It is at least possible, therefore, that this 
edition of the Statutes was printed and published here. 
Whatever happened to, or became of, Powell it would 
seem that his press and type remained here, for the 
letters and borders around the Irish poem printed in 
1 57 1 are unquestionably Powell's. Sir Richard Bolton, 
afterwards Lord Chancellor, in the preface to his edition 


of the Irish Statutes, printed here in 1621, refers to the 
earlier printed Statutes, which had become so rare that 
even the Judges had not always copies for reference. 

No doubt also there were various proclamations 
printed in this century, at least in Queen Elizabeth's 
reign, though so far I have only traced four of them. A 
patient and careful search through the original volumes 
of State Papers in the Public Record Office, London, 
from the reign of Edward VI. to 1600, would be 
fruitful in results, I believe. 

Again, about 1569, it appears from the " Carew " 
Calendar of State Papers of Ireland, that John Vowell, 
alias Hooker (or Hoker), a native of Exeter, was given 
permission by the Lord Deputy to print the Statutes 
during a period of ten years. Vowell was resident for 
some years in Dublin or its neighbourhood, down to 
about 1573 or 1574. He was a Member of Parliament 
here for the Borough of Athenry, and wrote a continua- 
tion of the History of Ireland, which was published 
separately, (possibly in Exeter), and also appears in a 
contemporary edition of Holinshed. In this continuation 
of, or supplement to, Holinshed, Vowell states that he 
had printed an account of the Manner of holding 
Parliaments in England, in fulfilment of his promise to 
do so, and had distributed it to the Members. It was 
also required, it would seem, for use in Ireland, 
where Parliaments met but seldom. The first edition, 
apparently, of this work was published in London in 
1572, but another edition was published without any 
date, place, or printer's name. There is a copy of this 
very rare work in the British Museum, whose authorities 


conjecturally give Exeter as its place of origin and 1575 
as its date. With great timidity I would venture to 
suggest, as an alternative conjecture, that it may 
possibly have been printed in Dublin, and to this 
opinion Dr. Rutty* was certainly inclined. {Vide his 
letter mentioned at pp. 47-50 of Vol. I. of the Antho- 
logia Hibernica). 

As regards the Almanac said by Harris (in his edition 
of Ware's Writings) to have been printed in Dublin in 
1587, I would refer to the special note later on in this 

Lastly, Dr. Stubbs, in his History of Trinity College, 
makes mention of a printer named "Wm. Kerney " 
being employed in the College for a time, that he left the 
College, having fallen out with his employers there, at 
which time he removed, however, not only his printing- 
press, but also some of the College furniture, and that in 
March, 1596 {i.e., 1597), negotiations were resumed by 
the College authorities to induce him to resume 
his connection with the College, but Dr. Stubbs states 
that the issue is not recorded. He was, evidently, the 
** William Kearney," Queen's printer here in 1595, and 
who was also probably a printer in London from 1590 
to 1592. This is more particularly brought out in the 
notice of " Wm. Kearney," which will be found later on. 
Trinity College was founded in 1592, and opened in 1594. 
In Appendix H. will be found a full copy of the terms 
offered to Kearney, now fully published for the first time 

* John Rutty, M.D., a Member of the Society of Friends, and 
author of an Essay towards a Natural History of the County of Dublin, 
1772, 2 vols, and other works. 


through the courtesy of Prof. Mahaffy, who kindly lent 
me his transcription of the original document. 

All these are indications, however uncertain and 
unsatisfactory, that more printing took place in Dublin 
in this century than is shown in the accompanying very 
meagre list. When we recollect that there were schools 
here and in other towns, we know that there must have 
been school books in use, and though, perhaps, these 
were all imported, yet primers or the like may have been 
printed here. Of course such books were less likely to 
last than any other owing to their hard usage and little 
esteemed worth. 

Doubtless but few copies of any work were printed, 
and these were soon worn out or destroyed. Perhaps, 
however, some survivors, or even fragments, may yet 
be found in private libraries, or collections, in Diocesan 
Libraries, or those of religious communities, or 
possibly in some of the great Continental Libraries, if 
only those who are interested in the subject would care- 
fully watch and search whenever the opportunity is 
afforded them. 

The Libraries of each of the Colleges at Oxford and 
Cambridge would probably afford satisfactory results. 
To these great Universities from early times went many 
Irish students, and from them came English graduates to 
fill political and ecclesiastical offices here. Hence books 
printed here often found a home in such Libraries. 

^v^ LIST -^t^ 

— OF — 

Books. &c., printed in Dnblin prior to 1601 


rSr^i Edward VI. 

Full Title. The Boke | of the common praier and admi | 

nistracion of the Sacramen | tes, and other 
rites and | ceremonies of the | Churche : 
af I ter the | use | of the Churche of | 

Printer. Humphrey Powell, King's Printer (in the 

great toure by the Crane). 

Owner or\ (i) Trinity College Dublin (BB. A. 3). 
Reference J^ (2) Emmanuel College, Cambridge. 

^ze. The copy in T. C. D, measures io| x 7 

inches ; that in E. C. C. measures 1 1^^ x 
7y^^. This latter copy is interleaved. 

Collation. Black Letter, but the marginal notes, Latin 

words, and some words in the rubrics, are 
in italic type ; 10 un-numbered leaves with 
separate signatures, and 140 leaves 
numbered as folios only. Sigs. A — S4 
[Folds in eights]. 

( II ) 


Author or) The Right Honble. The Earl of Sussex, Lord 
Ttme. j Lyeutenant General &c. of Ireland with 

the assent &c. of the Nobility & Councel &c. 

J^ull Title, Proclamation against Shane O'Neill [June 

23rd, 1561]. 

Printer. Humphrey Powell, King's Printer. 

Owner or) Public Record Office, London ; State Papers 
J^eference.S of Ireland, Elizabeth, Vol. 4, No. 131. 

(Page 174 in printed calendar). 

Size. Single Sheet (/V., several sheets attached in 

one length). 

N.B. — ^This Proclamation is not dated, but its 
date is'established by the contemporaneous 
letter sending this copy to England. 

Collation. Black Letter. 212 lines ; some dates in 


( " ) 


1^^} '^^ ^^'■^^ Justice & Counsell. 


Full Title. Proclamation against the O'Connors. Dated 

1 6th August, 1564. 

Printer. Humphrey Powell. 

Owner or\ Public Record Office, London ; State Papers 
Reference.] ^f Iceland, Elizabeth, Vol. XL, No. 74 

(Page 244 in printed calendar). 

Size, Single Sheet (/.^., two sheets attached in one 

length), 29^ inches X 12 inches. 

Collation. Black Letter. 78 lines, each line is 8^ 

inches in length. Imprint in small italics. 

( 13 ) 


^u/Acrorl Elizabeth. 
tme, j 


Full Title. A Brefe | Declaration of certein | Principall 

Articles of Religion ; set out by order and 
aucthoritie | as well of the right Honorable 
Sir Henry | Sidney Knyght of the most 
noble order, | Lord presidet of the CoQcel 
in the Prin | cipallitie of Wales, & Marches 
of the I same, and general deputie of this 
Realme | of Ireland, as by Tharchebyshops, 
& I Byshopes, & other her maiesties Hygh 
I Commissioners for causes Ecclesia- 
sticall I in the same Realme. 

Printer. Humphrey Powell. (St. Nicholas Street). 
^ref^\ Trinity College, Dublin ; (DD. z^. 65 No. 6). 

Size. Quarto. (7 X 5^). 

Collation. Black Letter and italic type ; no pagination ; 

8 leaves. 

( 14 ) 


Author ar\ pilip m-AC Cuinn Cf Of ai§. (Philip, son of 
Time, ; Conn Crosach). 

Full Title, TOuAii Ann f o 6 f)ilip rtiAC Cuinn Cf Of Aig, 
Ann A 'ocAift)6nc-A|\ cuAfUfstJAit ttAtrfiA|t 
tAite An b|iAi6, Aguf An mot) Af a t)cioci:A 
Cf lOft) t)o 6um An b|\eteArtinAif , Aguf tiA 

t)|\1AtftA A'06|\A Ant). 

[A Poem this, by Philip, son of Conn Crosach, 
in which is Shown the Awful Description 
of the Day of Doom, and the Manner in 
which Christ shall come to Judgment, and 
the Words He shall say thereat]. 
From the translation by Mr. John McNeill 
which appeared in the Gaelic Journal for 
March, 1899, Vol. IX., No. 103, p. 309. 

N.B. — Above this heading and along the top 
of the page in i6th Century writing are 
these words :— 

" This Irish Balade printed in Irelande who 
" belike use the olde Saxon Carecte.*' 

Printed below the last verse is the first and 
last line — 

ctiAin pense poiSrae. 

(A Presage of Wrath is patience). 

( IS ) 

Printer. John Usher^ but more probably John 

O'Kearney printed it Vide next item. 
Usher is not mentioned anywhere else as a 
printer. It was done for him and at his 
cost most probably. 

Owner or\ Library of the College of Corpus Christi, 
Reference.^ Cambridge (Archbishop Parker Collection). 

Size. Broadside; single sheet (15/5^ x 11). 

N.B. — The poem is exactly reprinted on the 
verso of the sheet. 

Collation. A Religious Poem in Irish, Deibhidhe metre, 

of 22\ Stanzas of 8 lines each, printed in 3 
parallel columns. 

Note. — A photog^phic facsimile of this Poem can be seen 
in the National Library, Kildare Street, and in the Library of 
Trinity College, Dublin. 

( i6 ) 


June 2a 
Aut/u?rorl SeAS-dti O'Ce-dfii-Aig. 
Ttme. j j^Yin 0*Kearney (or O'Kearnaigh or Kerney, 

or Kearney, or Kearnaigh or Carney). 

[Generally the name as in Irish type). 

Full Title, Ait)i*oil 5^01*661156, Aguf C-AiciciOfrriA .1., 
pottCe-A*o-At nOUe-AgAfs CiiiofOAige, mAiUe 
t6 ri-Ai|\ci05tuit> '6-Ai|\i'6e "oon f i-a$-aI C|\iofT)- 
uige, If in^AtttA, t)-d 5-A6 Aon t)A mtt6 
|?6niilnc-A "GO fe-Adt) *0!-a Aguf nAt)-Annfio§nA 
fA ft$e fo, "oo CAifnge-Atti Af LAi-oe-An, 
Aguf -Af 5Aitlb6|\lA 50 S-Aoiiieils. 
[Alphabet of the Irish Language and Cate- 
chism that is Christian Instruction or 
Teaching along with certain articles of the 
Christian Rule that are proper for everyone 
who would be obedient to the law of God 
and the Queen in this Kingdom, translated 
from Latin and English to Irish by John 

Printer. None given, but probably John O'Kearney. 

It was printed " at the cost '' of John Usher, 

Owner or\ (i) British Museum ; C. 33, A. i. 
Reference Ji (^j Bodleian ; C. 31, Selden. 

[Folds in fours]. 

Size, Octavo. (5^^^ x 3}). 

Collation. 54 pages + 2 pages, i of errata and verso 

blank. Sig. A to 54. 
See facsimile of title page in front of book. 

( 17 ) 


r£r "*} WilKam Fanner. 

J*uil Title. An Almanack for Ireland. 


Owner or\ (i) Vide Harris's Ware's "Writers of Ire- 
ReferenceJ^ land," Edition of 1746, page 363 ; 

(2) Dr. Rutty's Letter to Dr. William Clark 
of London, dated 28th June, 1744, appear- 
ing in the January number of " The Antho- 
logia Hibernica," Vol. L, pages 47-50. 

Size. Quarto 

Note. — In the Bodleian Library, Oxford (and in one or two 
other places also), there is an edition of this " Almanac," joined 
with a " Prosfnostication," printed evidently in Lendon, but giving 
the Longitude and Latitude of Dublin. Farmer is described as a 
** Chirurgion," and was apparenUy connected with Dublin. 
There may have been, therefore, an edition printed here of the 
Almanac. William Kearney, the printer, probably came over to 
Dublin in the latter half of this year, and so might have printed it 
here. Harris may have been correct, but it is possible that he 
was misinformed, and took the London Edition of Farmer's 
Almanac as a Dublin production. It is right, however, to add 
that Dr. Rutty, in his letter referred to at p. 8 ante^ also mentions 
this Almanac as printed in Dublin, but whether Harris merely 
quotes from him or both from a common source does not appear. 

( i8 ) 


Author or\ r\ ui* u -.u 

,. > Queen Elizabeth. 


Full Title. Proclamation against the Earl of Tyrone and 

his adherents in Ulster. Dated 12th June 
in the 27th year of the Reign. 

Printer. William Kearney, Queen's Printer. 

(In the Cathedrall Church of the Blessed 
Trinitie Dublin). 

Owner or\ Public Record Office, London ; State Papers 
Reference.^ ^f Ireland, Elizabeth, Vol. 180, No. 48. 

(Page 332 in printed Calendar). 

Size. Single Sheet (or 2. sheets attached in one 

length) ; 22^ x 11. 

Collation. Black Letter, save the heading and imprint. 

67 lines, each line of print measures 8 ins. 

( 19 ) 


'Sr^} ^^^ ^- ^«P"tie (Mountjoy) and Councell. 

J*uli Title. Proclamation against Hugh Neale, called 

+ + O'Neale. Dated 22 November, i6oo» 

Printer. John Franke (at the Bridgefoote). 

Owner or\ Public Record Office, London ; Vol. 207^ 
Reference.^ p^rt 6. (Elizabeth). 

Size. Single Sheet. 

Collation. Roman (or plain) type. 50 lines. 

( 20 ) 


TTUMPHREY POWELL was a Printer carrying on work in 
IjL London in the years 1548-49, and particulars of the works 
printed there by him (some indeed without any datej are 
^ven in Ames* well-known work. 

In the third Volume (edited by Mr. Dasent) of the Acts of the 
Privy Council of England, page 84, the following note appears 

tinder the date i8th July, 1550 — "A warrant to to deliver 

** XXli. unto Powell the printer given him by the King's Majestie 
^* towardes his setting up in Irelande." There can hardly be any 
doubt that the Powell here referred to was Humphrey Powell, the 
London printer, and this would seem to indicate that he was then 
proceeding, or had just begun, to carry on his art in Ireland. 
Whether the idea of so doing originated with himself or, as would 
seem more likely, that he was requested or urged to do so by the 
King or his Government, can only be a matter of conjecture. 
This, at least, however, is plain, that his going to Ireland and 
setting up there as a printer met with the approval of the 
Sovereign, who helped him in a very practical manner, tor ;f 20 in 
the reign of Edward VI. was, of course, equal to a very much 
greater sum than £20 in the present day. 

It can hardly be doubted that Powell was, in fact, required to 
do printing work for the Irish Government, as indeed the few 
-specimens of his printing in Dublin now extant clearly show, 
whatever else he may have done here or elsewhere. 

Whether Powell had started for Ireland prior to this date 
•(18th July, 1550) or not cannot be inferred with certainty, but it 
may now be taken for certain that this year (1550) was the year 
in which his printing press was first set up in Dublin. That 
press, as appears from the specimens, was first used to produce a 


( " ) 

copy of the Book of Common Prayer, which bears on its title page 
and on the imprint on the last page but one, the date 15519 being 
the date of issue no doubt, or actual publication. 

. Powell's type seems to have consisted almost entirely of 
Black Letter, of which, however, he had more than one founts 
any other type appearing to have been italic. His initial letters 
mark out his work at once. They seem to have been of Dutch or 
German origin, and occur again and again in his work. 

The Book of Common Prayer, as a work of printing, deserves 
bigh praise, and shows that Powell was accomplished in his art. 
It must have taken a considerable time to set up and print off this 
tx>ok, which affords confirmation, if such be needed, of the 
assumption already made, that Powell's printing press began its 
iwork in Dublin in the year 1550, a year earlier than hitherto 
S^nerally recorded. It is a matter of much regret that only two 
copies of this work are now known to exist 

Edward VI., who appears to have been Powell's special 
patron, died on the 6th July, 1553, and was succeeded by Queen 
Siary. Whether Powell remained here or returned to London 
cioes not appear, but he did not lose favour with King Edward's 
successor, as his name appears amongst the other printers of the 
Company of Stationers, to whom Queen Mary and King Philip 
£^ranted their first Charter about the year 1556. Humphrey 
Powell's name also appears in the confirmation of this Charter 
g^nted by Queen Elizabeth in the year 1559. It can hardly be 
contended that there were two Humphrey Powells, I think. I do 
not think it inconsistent with the absence of Powell from London 
that his name should so have appeared in these Charters. His 
former work there, and possibly his return thither for a time, may 
tiave caused the Company of Stationers to retain him in member* 
ship. It is noteworthy, however, that no work of his at this time 
appears in the Register of the Company of Stationers so ably 
edited by Mr. Arber. Neither, indeed, does any specimen of his 
iwork in Dublin appear during this period, though it seems hard 
to imagine that his press was silent for about ten years. As will 
t>e seen by the foregoing list his next piece of work in Dublin was 

( 22 ) 

the ProclamatioQ against Shane O'Neill. There is no date to 
this Proclamation, but the year given for it, viz., 1561, is certainly 
correct, as this date is established by a contemporaneous letter 
sending a copy of the Proclamation to England, Vide Calendar of 
State Papers (Ireland) for 1561. Then comes a gap of 3 years, 
after which another Proclamation, printed by him here, is founds 
namely, that agsunst the O'Connors in 1564. Doubtless there 
must have been several Proclamations printed by him which have 
been long since destroyed, as Proclamations are sometimes 
mentioned in the Calendar of State Papers of Ireland, but printed 
copies do not exist. 

The last work of Humphrey Powell's is that called the 
** Brefe Declaration of certain Articles, etc.," printed in 1566, of 
which but one copy is in existence. At this date Powell had his 
press in a different place from that which he first set it up. 

After this date his name is found no more, but whether he 
died here or returned to England is not known. There were 
several printers in England bearing the surname of Powell, as 
appears from Mr. Arber's Register of the Company of Stationers 
in London. 

( 23) 


FROM the date of Humphrey Powell's last work for several 
years onward there is no evidence as to what actual printer 
carried on work in Dublin, until we come to this printer at 
the end of the century, for the ** Alphabet and Catechism " and 
the ** Religious Poem " printed in Irish, though done at the cost 
of John Usher, cannot be said to have been printed by him. Most 
probably this type was handled and set up by John Kearney (or 
O' Kearney) who translated the Catechism into Irish, or his relative 
William Kearney, now about to be referred to. 

The first mention of this William Kearney as a printer is 
found in the '' Acts of the Privy Council of England " (edited by 
Mr. Dasent), under date 20th and 21st August, 1587. In this 
reference, however, his name is spelt ** Carney." The reference 
is as follows :— In an interesting letter of above date from the 
English Privy Council to the Lord Deputy and Council of Ireland 
reference is made to John *' Carney" (the John Kearney or 
O* Kearney of the Catechism of 157 1) and Nicholas Walsh, who 
are stated to have translated the New Testament into Irish, but 
that up to that date it had not been printed, owing to the lack of 
native Irish printers. The letter continues that the manuscript 
of Carney (the O'Kearney of the Catechism) was then in the hands 
of his relative '* William Carney," who, it adds, during a period of 
fourteen years, both in England and in foreigfn parts, had become 
a master in the art of printing, knowing the Irish well and how 
Irish Type should be made and made use of, and accordingly he 
Is recommended to the Council as a proper person, subject to 
their personal examination of him, to act as printer. ** Carney" 
is spoken of as the bearer of the letter, and it is strange that no 
reference whatever to this letter (an important one, and coming 
'with all the weight of the English Privy Council), appears in the 
2>ublished Calendar of Irish State Papers. If we would be justified 
in concluding that " Carney " came over to Dublin then, and was 

( 24 ) 

interviewed by the Lord Deputy and Council, it would seem as if 
he did not receive much encouragement from them at that time» 
Three years later, 1590, a William Kearney (most probably the 
same person as William *^ Carney " or '* Kerney ") is found as a 
printer in London, and so continued for three years, until 1592, 
then his work in London appears to have ceased, and we find 
"William Kerny " again in Ireland, as appears from the important 
State letter, a copy of which will be found at Appendix L, and 
which may be dated in 1593. Then we find " Wm. Kerney " as 
printing for the new University, and lastly there is "William 
Kearney*' here in Dublin actually printing in the Cathedral of 
Dublin in 1595 a proclamation against the Earl of " Tirone." It 
is interesting to note here that there is a statement written, I 
believe, in pencil upon the original Proclamation in the Public 
Record Office in London, that there was an Irish edition of this 
proclamation. No doubt William Kearney was fully competent ta 
execute such printing. 

He was also, I am convinced, the printer named " Kerny " or 
** Kerney " (another way of spelling Kearney's name) who was 
for a time employed by the then recently started University of 
Trinity College. This might, perhaps, cover the period from 1592 
to 1595, if we are justified in assuming that Kearney came again 
to Dublin in 1592, as I am of opinion may be confidently assumed 
on the evidence now produced. The State letter above-mentioned 
and the terms of the proposed arrangement offered to him ia 
March, 1596, O.S. (1597), to be found in Appendix 11., seem 
indeed conclusive. 

Only one specimen of Kearney's printing here, namely, the 
Proclamation of 1595, has been found up to the present It is all 
in Black Letter, save the heading and imprint, which are ia 
ordinary Roman type, now sometimes called White Letter. This 
is the first occasion on which such type appears here. It was not 
used by Powell. It may also be noted that the initial letter 
used is quite different from those used by Powell. 

William Kearney was not a member of the Company 
Stationers, Mr. Arber states. What became of him is not known. 

( 25 ) 


(Otherwise Franketon or Pranckton 
or Prank ton or Prancton or Pranton). 

, X THERE this printer came from and when he first arrived in 

JL X Dublin is not known. As he was the printer of the Irish 

New Testament which was published here in 1602, it is 

possible he accompanied Wm. Kearney on his visit to Dublin about 

1592, and served his time to him, and that on his Master's decease 

or departure from Ireland, he carried on the printing* alone, and 

did the Government work here. This, at least, would con- 

jecturally explain Francton's ability and competency to use Gaelic 

type, and is given some support by the provisions of the " Terms " 

set out in Appendix II. To set up so considerable a work as the 

New Testament must have taken a good deal of time then. 

Kearney probably assisted in it at the beginning, as he was 

experienced in such work. 

The Proclamation of 1600 is the first printing which bears 
Franke's name. He lived in Dublin for many years, married a 
freewoman of that city, and through her obtained the city freedom. 
He had three or four children, some of whom also obtained the 
freedom, as appears in the Ancient Records of Dublin, edited by 
the late Sir John Thomas Gilbert. He was appointed State 
Printer in 1604, and became Sheriff in 1612. His press turned out 
some excellent work. For fuller particulars see ''New Ireland 
Review" for March, 1898. 

( 26 ) 


(T.C.D. Muniment Room, Box A.I.h.). 

Form of State Letter evidently intended to be sent to 
EACH Bishop by the Irish Privy Council.] 

AFTER our very hearty commendations to your Lordship We 
have received letters from the Lords of her Majesty Most 
honorable Privy Council whereby appeareth her Majesty and their 
Lordships great care of the printing ot the new Testament in the 
Irish tongue and proper character. To which purpose yt pleased 
her Majesty and her honorable Council to send hither and 
authorize one William Kerny this country man born and nowe in 
this Land (having been to that end brought up these 20 years 
in the Art of printing) to print the said new testament and all such 
other books as shall be required and necessary for the good 
service of the Church and common wealth of this realm. And for 
that the charge of printing the said book doth rise to be greater 
than may easily be borne by a few Their Lordships by their said 
letters have required us to take such speedy course that the same 
may be done by some common contribution, as well of the clergy 
as of others well disposed to further that work. Whereof we 
having duly considered, and finding by conference with the said 
Kerny the borden to be no less than appeared to their Lordships 
We have thought good to let your Lordship understand what 
course we think meet to be held therein with the clergy, to wit 
that every spiritual man should contribute to this godly work the 
XXth part of such livings as he holdeth as they are rated in 
the Queene's books which is the most indifferent and easie course 
in our opinion that may be taken and which we perswade ourselves 
no well disposed man who hath any regard of the discharge of 
his duty or the benefit of the Church of God which he serveth will 

( 27 ) 

refuse to give. Wherefore we ernestly pray and require your 
Lordship to call unto you your whole clergy and to signify unto 
them this our resolution and further to use all the best means you 
may as well by your own example as otherwise to draw them 
thereunto and being agreed upon to take some speedy course 
among yourselves for leveinge of the same. And because this 
work hath been so long delayed and that the said Kearny 
being the cheapest means to effect the same may perishe, we 
require your Lordship to use herein all the speed you may, and to 
certify us particularly by the last day of the next Hilary terme 
what you shall have done herein, and if there shall be any so 
ungodly and void of all conscience that shall refuse to yield their 
small contribution to a work so godly, and necessary and so much 
helping themselves to the better discharge of their own duties 
and conscience We pray your Lordships likewise to certify unto 
us their names to the end we may aswell take some other course 
with them, as also return to their Lordships in England (according 
their request unto us) both the names of the givers as such as 
shall be backward in this good worke. And so leaving this most 
godly and necessary work to your Lordships good zeal, and care- 
fulness. We bid your Lordships very heartily farewell From 
Dublin the 

Your Lordships very loving friends 

[No date or signatures]. 

For Wm. Kearney the printer 

to be retorned in the end of Hilary terme 

about the printing of the N. T. in Irish. 

( 28 ) 


(T.C.D. Muniment Room, Box C. 9). 

[Proposed Terms between Trinity College, Dublin, 
AND William Kearney, 1596 ] 

Forgeivinge and forgettinge all the former iniuries offered by you 
to the CoUedge and the severall fellowes thereof, as i. The close 
conveyance out of the house without their knowledge and consent 
of the press ponntions and characters. 2. The taking away of the 
stoles shelves bords etc. which were in the chamber and study, 
the first of which at lest was the Colledges. 3. the kepinge from 
and utter deprivinge of them of the printed sheets which by promise 
and bond you were bound to deliver to them after the printinge of 
every sheet 4. the disapoyntinge of your bond to finishe the 
worke by the time apoynted. by wh. also their promise was caused 
to be broken to the country concerning the delivery of the said 
books, you assuringe that nothinge should hinder you but death 
from the finishing. 5. your not issewinge the ^o£ st. you had 
before hand accordinge to your promise and bond to the further- 
ance of the work by which your bond is forfeyted and you under 
an arrest. 6. The losse your disapoyntment of bringinge in the 
bonds of the primat and the rest which you promised both to 
the Society and Sr Rob Gardner and Sr Ant St leger omittinge 
the very sinister delinge in complayninge to the Lo ; Chancellor 
when they had the first cause to cSpIayne of you and also mought 
by lawe and arrest compell you to your covenants. All this I say 
heinge omitted and forgotten. The question which I would pro- 
pound, unto you (it either you regard the aidinge of soe necessary 
a work for the Glory of God or your own estate to be bettered) is 
whether you would agre to these conditions, as the Society may 
be drawen to consent to them